Such a simple name, and such a totally nondescript location, Flavors is very easy to miss out on Columbia Pike if you are not looking for it. Of course, as we know – these sorts of holes in the wall can be either an indicator of death to a restaurant or it is a symbol that it’s gonna be really really good. What I can say is that if soul food is the hope, the clearly Flavors delivers the mail. Oh does it deliver. It is hard not to get the ‘itis just typing this review, but I will try to hold on.
When we went – it was near the end of the lunch service. I wanted the special fried catfish, but they were out – so I settled for trout. The guy behind the counter told us how long it would take – and did not take money until after the meal. It was homey – and as I looked around it LOOKED like the clientele knew the place and came frequently. I ordered fried trout with mac and cheese and collard greens with cornbread on the side. We also got a bowl of fried okra. The collard greens were lovely – good flavor and well cooked. The mac and cheese was not as dense as it could have been (this is a good thing) but was as excellent and homey as you’d want. However, the star was the fried stuff.
Deep frying is such a maligned technique. So many people are afraid of it – citing grease and how manifestly unhealthy it is. There is a kernel of truth here I suppose – but really it is about technique. Basically, if you have the oil hot enough and pay attention to the food, very little added grease appears. With the okra and the fish, the crust was flavorful and dry – my fingers did not even need washing – and the food stayed moist. The chicken in the booth next to me looked similarly marvelous.
The price was not great – it was a bit on the expensive side. However, this is exemplary soulfood. I can’t wait to try the chicken.